Monday, July 4, 2022

SHESTCO To Create Innovation Hubs For Nigerian Startups

Prof. Paul Onyenekwe.
Prof. Paul Onyenekwe.

The Sheda Science and Technology Complex (SHESTCO) is set to create innovation hubs for Nigerian start-ups, especially for the biotechnology space to enhance growth and development in the country.

The director-general, SHESTCO, Prof. Paul Onyenekwe, said this will connect companies, researchers, investors and provide the needed environment and resources to develop innovative products and solutions in biotechnology and life sciences, create jobs and contribute massively to economic rebirth and achieving national security.

He said this while presenting a paper titled “SHESTCO in the economic growth and development of the nation through research and innovation” on Wednesday, at the ongoing Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) expo 2022, in Abuja.

“We are particularly pleased, as this will be the first ‘Scientific Day’ organised by the complex. The complex shares the vision of the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Ogbonna Onu of driving positive socio-economic outcomes through science, technology and innovation in all activities of the economy. We believe strongly that the policies have the right drivers to improve our nation’s global competitiveness ranking with the commercialisation of our research and development breakthroughs via innovative research.

“The complex has five advanced research centres. The Biotechnology Advanced Research Centre (BARC), is involved in research and development activities in food and agricultural biotechnology, industrial biotechnology, medical biotechnology, environmental biotechnology and biomaterials.

“The Chemistry Advanced Research Centre (CARC) focuses on agricultural chemistry, organic and natural product chemistry, solid mineral processing, polymer chemistry, analytical/environmental chemistry as well as inorganic chemistry.

“The Physics Advanced Research Centre (PARC), focuses on research in mechanical and electronic materials development, energy-related development. There is the Applied Mathematics Simulation Advanced Research Centre (AMSARC) that carries out research in mathematical simulation techniques.

“The Nuclear Technology Centre (NTC) deploys gamma irradiation facility for research in food preservation, insect sterility technology,” he said.

Also, Onyenekwe stressed that in achieving this they have to use structured manpower development and training activities to meet the growing needs of Nigeria in high technology, exchange programmes for students, dual doctorate supervisions between institutions, post-doctorates and visiting senior scientists, as well as research budgeting and finance. “It might interest us to know that SHESTCO has over 30 doctorates cut across the various research centres.

“Conclusively, we see SHESTCO as a major stakeholder in the upliftment of the Nigerian economy through research and development. We believe that the complex will contribute to alleviating the nation’s economy by fostering cooperation for joint development of educational technology and innovation, developing innovative indigenous products and solutions in biotechnology and life sciences for Nigeria, creating jobs and bringing competitive dynamics into business, promoting a better standard of living, talent development, wealth creation competitive dynamics, promote proactivity among talented youths thus contributing massively to economic rebirth.

The chairman of the governing board, Sen Lawal Aliyu, said: “We must nurture creative scientists in an environment that encourages interactions and collaborations across different fields, and support research free from weighty bureaucracies.

“SHESTCO is working hard to become the dream environment in and for Nigeria – a place where advanced scientific research at the highest possible level in basic and applied sciences, agriculture, medicine, industry, is carried out and outcomes converted into products and applicable technologies to drive sustainable economic growth.”

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